Today, Mayor John Sullivan, along with more than 400 other mayors nationally, will proclaim Nov. 1 "Extra Mile Day" in Cape Coral and elsewhere.
The day celebrates those who have chosen to create positive change in their communities by going above and beyond the norm.
The day was created in 2009, with 23 cities making the first declaration, and it has grown ever since, according to Shawn Anderson, founder of Extra Mile Day, who grew tired of hearing about all the bad in society.
"The media was covering so much bad news about businesses closing and homes foreclosing, people seemed to be losing hope in their ability to create positive change," Anderson said. "I decided to use my small voice to remind people if they wanted to create positive change, they had to go the extra mile."
Anderson created the Extra Mile America Tour, where he pedaled a bicycle from ocean to ocean, 4,000 miles. Along the way he interviewed around 200 people identified as going the extra mile in overcoming tragedy or chasing a goal.
He then created Extra Mile Day, elated that 23 mayors would participate to recognize those who expressed that trait in volunteerism.
In 2010 it was 116, the following year there were 362, and this year there are 440.
"We are proud to have Cape Coral as one of those cities. There are many great things going on there, and the real extra mile heroes are the ones giving of themselves to help the city do things that are unrecognized," Anderson said. "We all have the ability to create positive change."
Christine Ott, director of media outreach for the organization, sent a request to Pearl Taylor, legislative executive assistant to the mayor to get the ball rolling, and it went from there, Taylor said.
Sullivan has reached out to former mayors Joe Mazurkiewicz and Eric Feichthaler, as well as Elmer Tabor and city historian Paul Sanborn as examples of those who go the extra mile.